Petters associate Vennes sentenced to 15 years


A former associate of jailed Twin Cities Ponzi scheme architect Tom Petters has been sentenced to 15 years in prison, the Pioneer Press reports.

Frank Vennes got the maximum sentence allowed by a plea deal he struck with prosecutors, the newspaper reports.

He had pleaded guilty in February to a count of aiding and abetting fraud and a count of engaging in illegal monetary transaction.

Vennes had been set for a trial with James Fry, a Minnetonka hedge fund manager also linked to Petters who last week was sentenced to 17.5 years in federal prison. Ultimately, Vennes testified against Fry.

Both men helped feed investors into a $3.5 billion Ponzi scheme that Petters managed from his Minnetonka headquarters. Petters is appealing a 50-year prison sentence handed down in 2009.

Vennes was in the news earlier this week when Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn,. returned some of the campaign cash that Vennes trustees have been seeking to get back from a number of Vennes-connected politicians.

Next Up

closed sign

What's open and closed in Minnesota on Thanksgiving Day 2020?

Most services will not be running on Thursday and unlike most years, many stores will be closed, too.


How a turkey's brush with celebrity in Bloomington came to a tragic end

DNR: if you care about wild animals, stop feeding them

TCF Bank Stadium

Saturday's Gophers/Badgers football game canceled due to COVID-19 issues

The Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe will not take place for the first time since 1906.

coronavirus, Iowa

MN health officials don't think downside of COVID-19 peak has arrived

We could be in a trough between a series of waves, Jan Malcolm said.

covid-19, coronavirus

Wisconsin reports record 104 deaths from COVID-19 Tuesday

That's roughly 10% of the total in the nation in a 24-hour period.


Husband and wife sentenced for fraud scheme through their drywall firm

The Annandale pair bilked an insurance company out of more than $300,000.


4 pedestrians suffer life-threatening injuries after being struck by vehicle

Two vehicles crashed into a car that was on the side of the road after striking a deer.

Marcus Carr

Gophers season preview: New lineup, deeper bench, more questions

Mathew Goldstein takes a deep dive into the murky waters of the college hoops season.


Photos: ViV!R, Minneapolis' new Mexican cafe and shop, is now open

The team behind the acclaimed Popol Vuh have opened the cafe in the same space.


At Wiscoy Township's sole precinct, election judges ditched masks

Voter and Wiscoy resident Kaitlyn O'Connor took a photo of the judges after asking them to wear masks, she said